Gate guards protect Andersen’s entries
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- It is routine for people to drive on base and automatically hand their ID cards to the Airman standing in the scorching, hot sunlight. The Airman verifies the credentials and says "Have a nice day," while handing back the card. Some drive away, thinking nothing of the experience or taking notice of the Airman's name.
The Airmen of the 36th Security Forces Squadron Dedicated Gate Guard Section are responsible for authorizing each of the 5,000 vehicles to pass through the gate daily. Their responsibilities include verifying credentials, checking drivers for intoxication, keeping unauthorized visitors from entering, directing traffic, and stopping inbound and outbound traffic when there is a breach of safety.
The DGG's performance and attention to detail is vital to making sure the entry control point remains a secure barrier between potential threats and the safety of the installation. It is important for the guards to remain aware of their surroundings and to stay focused on the job at all times.
"We are the frontline defenders," said Airman 1st Class Tyler Kidder, 36th SFS dedicated gate guard. "People look to us as cops for help when and if they are in need."
The DGGs make dress and appearance a top priority because of their high visibility. "We are the first people they see when coming onto the installation," said Airman 1st Class Jamey Thomas, 36th SFS DGG. "So we try to leave the best impression on each person, and treat them as kindly as possible so they leave feeling better than when they came in."
Since the front gate is open 24/7, 365 days a year, DGGs work either a day or night shift to ensure watchful eyes oversee entry control point security. Those working at night rarely ever see the light of a typical duty day.
The night shift is slower during the week, and on weekends, the DGGs keep a sharp eye out for intoxicated individuals who may be driving after the bars close. The gate guards pay particular attention to their training so they are prepared when put to the test by responding immediately to real-world situations, Thomas said.
Regardless of the situation, the DGGs continue to strive for excellence every day for their unit and the Air Force as a whole.
"The people who came before us set the standards for the Air Force," said Staff Sgt. Gavin Ward, 36th SFS DGG NCO in charge. "Who are we to not abide by and maintain what they set for us? However, actions speak louder than words and you need to show that respect and dedication to the uniform."